NEWS

Govt to Invest Rs 200 Cr in Sports Infrastructure

Friday, Feb 26, 2016

Sports is a medicine for depression that can lead to drugs, anti-social activities and health issues,” Samoon said. He added that government will come up with a ‘Sports Calendar’ to chart out sports activities for every district.

Government is mulling to give a fillip to the dilapidated sports infrastructure in Kashmir and develop ‘sports culture’ to address growing incidence of obesity, depression and drug abuse.

Acting on the reports of increasing menace of drugs in society and more and more youth falling into the trap of substance abuse, government has resorted to ‘providing alternatives’ in the form of ‘sports for recreation’.  The step has been taken in consultation and after brainstorming with multiple stakeholders and is also directed at addressing issues arising of sedentary lifestyles such as obesity and depression.

Giving details of the plans, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Asghar Samoon said that efforts were being made with the involvement of Department of Youth Services and Sports, Health Department, Department of School Education, District Administrations and civil society to build up ‘sports culture’ in Kashmir. “It is the best way to involve youth in activities that can keep them afloat.

Sports is a medicine for depression that can lead to drugs, anti-social activities and health issues,” Samoon said. He added that government will come up with a ‘Sports Calendar’ to chart out sports activities for every district.

The calendar, as per the details received from Divisional Commissioners office, will have 44 week activity roaster and will involve 1100 Physical Education teachers and 250 private schools of the state. “It will start from inter-level sports and will go upto inter-state level sports,” a spokesperson of Div Com office said. Sports Calendar will include winter and water sports as well.

However, given the scenario of infrastructure for sports and the condition of parks in Kashmir, the Sports Calendar will hit a rough patch if not addressed. Director General Sports, Jehangir Mir accepted that sports infrastructure was weak in state. “Definitely there is scope for its improvement which is being undertaken by the Sports Council. Otherwise, we do have sports fields in schools and colleges,” he said.

State had received Rs. 200 crore funding for development of sports infrastructure from GoI in 2015 much of which remains unutilized. The funding was provided to develop 12 indoor stadia in state, each at the cost of Rs. 4 crore and Rs. 60 crore for reconstruction of Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar and MA Stadium in Jammu, in addition to procuring sports equipment for various districts. However, laxity on part of the authorities has resulted in no progress being made in the direction.

Secretary Sports Council, Javed Ahmed Shah said that work was on and DPR had been submitted to the respective authorities. “We have just received Rs. 30 crore for the job, and are on it,” he said. The government is also roping in schemes such as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Yojana to provide additional funding.

Surprisingly, government is silent on the fate of the parks in city which are important in view of developing a habit and inclination for playing in children. “Our children have no spaces to play. In schools, sports is but a customary exercise. At homes, in absence of parks, they get glued to video games and television,” Mohammad Zaman, a resident of Jawahar Nagar said. Samoon agreed to the complaints of schools having customary sports culture and said that all departments were being pulled for taking the issue lightly. “Sports has been taken till now as an activity confined to 26 January and 15 August. Sports has to be a daily activity in every school,” he said.

Poor infrastructure has often as a constraint for  aspirations of youth who wish to pursue sports as a career . “Youth are looking forward to a stronger system to support their sports dreams. Whether the dilapidated condition of sports infrastructure and city parks and stadia will get a fillip with this new announcement needs to be seen,” said Zaid Mohammad, an Inter-University  basketball player.

 

Source : greaterkashmir.com

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